Archive for the ‘Frugal Crafts’ Category

Frugal Crafts: Baby Eye Openers 1

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Brighten up your baby’s world with easy do it yourself crafts.   I created colorful little flashcards for my baby to look at while she lies on the changing table.

I searched the internet for free downloadable prints for infant visual stimulation. actually has an entire directory of free stuff to download.

I printed two sets.  I left one black and white and colored the other set with markers.  This was great mommy and me time for Evelyn.  I got to doodle and she got to hear mommy’s entire repertoire of silly songs.  (Note: It is not recommended to use a bouncy seat on a table.  Use your own judgement.)

After coloring them and cutting them out, I used a glue stick and glued the images onto colorful little squares of construction paper.  One side had the colored image and the other side was black and white.  To make them last longer I adhered clear Contact paper to each side.  You can buy clear contact paper at Target or Walmart where they sell the regular Contact paper or shelf liners.

After you stick the Contact paper on, use the handle of your scissors to burnish the image.  This will smooth down the Contact paper, ensure a good seal, and de-hazes the image.

Trim your cards and you are ready to hang them up!  The following photo shows the black and white backside of the grasshopper card.

I used a little tape to stick them on the changing table.  You can also punch holes in them and tie them with string to a clothes hanger to make a mini-mobile.

Evelyn loves the pictures.  I change them out every few days for variety.  These took less than an hour to produce and cost pennies to make.  Win-win!

Frugal Tip of the Day:  Search the internet for free images to print.  If you don’t have a computer or a printer, go to a store and buy an inexpensive child’s coloring book for pictures you can cut out.  You can also sketch some images freehand for your baby.  The key for the first few months is to use high-contrast images of black and white or bright colors.

Frugal Christmas Ornaments Toddlers Can Make

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

I came up with a very frugal way for Oliver to have some Christmas fun.  We made ornaments out of a CheezIt box, some glue, scrap paper, sugar glitter, and a ribbon. 

First, I had to come up with a safe and edible alternative to glitter.  I decided to try sugar with food coloring.  I added a few drops of food coloring to some sugar and let my little guy shake it up.

He loved this part! He could have done this all day and have been perfectly happy.

We made some red and green sugar glitter.  So far, so good.

I gave him a glue stick and let him spread glue all over the cardboard I cut from a CheezIt box.  We stuck some black construction paper to one side, flipped it over, and repeated the gluing process on the other.

On this side we stuck a green scrap of wrapping paper that I had leftover.  My goal was to have black on one side and green on the other.

I then traced some cookie cutter tree shapes onto the green.  I did 2 shapes for each ornament and then cut out the pairs.

I put a small piece of cardboard inside a large, flat plastic container and made random squiggles on the green side of the tree.  I then let my son have a blast scooping and dumping sugar.  He became very adept at dumping the sugar exactly where it needed to go.

After the ornaments completely dried, I glued on a little cardboard spacer in between 2 finished trees.  Then I punched holes in the top, threaded some ribbon through the ornaments, and let my son hang them from the tree.

We repeated the process using red paper to make red candy canes.  I think they turned out great!

Frugal Tip of the Day: Crafts don’t have to be fancy or expensive.  We used scraps from around the house and Oliver loved, loved, LOVED it.

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